Martin Samuel gushes over West Ham United 'deal of the century'
Martin Samuel has dubbed UK Athletics’ talks to leave the London Stadium the “deal of the century” for West Ham.
The governing body is in discussions to receive a one-time payment to step away from its rights to host events in the publicly-owned venue, as per The Telegraph.
Whilst an agreement is not imminent, Mirror report that there is optimism that both parties can come to an agreement which Samuels insists is only a good thing.
He wrote in his Daily Mail column: “The reason West Ham struck what some call the deal of the century was that by then it was obvious that without an anchor tenant, the stadium was going to become another bottomless money pit, like the Millennium Dome. Baroness Brady drove a hard bargain. The Government’s negotiators had no hand.
“Incredibly, it has taken another 10 years for the most obvious legacy solution, the only legacy solution, in fact, to even be contemplated. Talks are ongoing about UKA walking away and making their home elsewhere. They would receive between £10-15million to facilitate this process.
“West Ham would then be free to remould the arena for football. Fans nearer to the pitch, the seating reconfigured. With an average league attendance of 59,088 this season – the third biggest in the country – there is a good football ground struggling to get out from under all that bad planning.”
This is great news for the Irons. Ever since they moved into the Stratford stadium they have been ridiculed by rival fans.
Admittedly, the atmosphere does suffer due to the layout of the stadium – with the fans so far away from the pitch but it isn’t as bad as the away fans like to make out.
To be fair to them, they are stuck right in the gods, as far away from the pitch as physically possible, which might be why coming to the London Stadium is such a bad experience.
This is undoubtedly the perfect resolution – West Ham will get full reigns of their home and UK Athletics get £10-15million to be on their way.
The Hammers have the third-highest average home attendance in the league this season but you would never know it.
If they can make the right changes to their stadium, the myths about there being no atmosphere would soon be rubbished.
Hopefully, both parties can come to an agreement and the work can get underway.
Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Hammers plus more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.